Joseph Hero of the Faith (7)

We’ve been looking at Joseph’s character over the last series of posts, which had so much to encourage and teach us about Godly character as disciples of Jesus, but today’s question is Why Egypt? Why was it necessary for the action to take place in Egypt.

Jacobs’ family lived in Canaan. They were shepherds with livestock who moved their flocks around in search of pasture. Their environment and pastures were suitable for that but not for large scale agriculture. The famine that was coming was going to be devastating on an unprecedented scale and preparation was key.

It was not uncommon to have famines in those times. We read in the bible that there had been several famines already. In Abraham & Isaac’s time they had been forced to travel to foreign lands to buy food. This famine was going to be different though. 7 years was a long period of famine. It was going to affect a large number of people.

Where was a fertile place that could produce enough food to sustain the people and surrounding nations over seven long years with planning and preparation. Egypt was the answer. It was a natural resource.

The river Nile regularly flooded and the delta region around the Nile with its mud flats was rich in minerals and natural fertiliser. It was an extremely fertile region and capable of producing great harvests. A land of abundance.

Joseph was found and placed in the place where the resources were. God put those resources in his hands to be a blessing to many.

Has God given you a vision or mission field but at the moment you just don’t see how it’s going to be possible because you don’t have the resources currently. If God has given you the vision then He will provide. He is Jehovah Jireh. The Lord who provides. God knows where the resources are and can make them available to you for His glory and His purposes. God will provide according to His riches in glory.

God can provide not only the resources to make the vision come to pass but can also direct your paths to the place that is ready to receive. Your mission field. The place of harvest. God can take you to a place which is fertile and ready to receive God’s Word. You might already be right in that fertile place. A place where the soil of men’s hearts, through the work of the Spirit of God, been turned from stone into flesh, softened and ready to receive the Good News of Jesus.

Prepared in prayer with tears of intercession for men’s souls. Brother Alan posted recently the passionate plea of John Knox “ Give me Scotland, or I die”. What passion in prayer for the lost. You can read that post here John Knox

The Nile valley was so fertile that any seed which was sown didn’t need to be ploughed into the ground. The ground was so softened by the regular floods it was ready to receive the seed and the seed could immediately take root and grow.

The fields by my home ploughed ready for the seed

The Lord will show us those people whose hearts are prepared ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus. They are out there desperate and thirsty for the gospel. Jesus told His followers that the harvest was great. There are people who are open and desperate to hear the Good News of Jesus.

Then He (Jesus) said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2

One of the greatest lies the enemy would have us believe is that people are not interested in what Christians have to say. They are interested. People are hungry for the Truth and are looking for it in all sorts of places. Be encouraged and bold that the Lord will direct your steps to share with those who are open and ready to receive.

If the ground is hard and not ready to receive then the seed is going to wither and die. Have you seen what happens when a heavy rain storm falls on hard ground. The water can’t penetrate the ground quickly enough and there is flash flooding. The ground was not prepared ready to receive the rain let alone the seed. It doesn’t penetrate the soil but runs off.

We don’t want run off.

We don’t want our words to run off like that water but we want them to penetrate and water the soil of men’s hearts. Ploughed soil is ready to receive. Ground that is broken up is ready to receive the rain. Little raindrops from heaven. Little words sent in due season.

If the soil is not ready to receive then it needs to be prepared. If those around you currently are hard hearted to the gospel message then we can intercede in prayer for them before God’s throne for the Holy Spirit to minister to their minds and hearts. For those hearts of stone to be turned to hearts of flesh. We can cry out for them to God. May our cries reach the ears of our Father in Heaven who sent His son to seek and save that which was lost.

If you are like me then I’m sure you have experienced rejection by people who were just not ready to receive you. It can be discouraging and cause us to hold back in future. I am learning that I need to recognise the conditions and discern when to sow and when to reap. To be led by the Holy Spirit and move on if the conditions are not ready yet.

Jesus told those that He sent out to minister that if there was no Peace in the house i.e the place was not ready to receive them – then their peace would return to them. If the disciples were not received then they were to shake the dust from their feet and move on.

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
Matthew 10:14

Even though those disciples must have encountered some of the rejection that Jesus warned them about, they still returned with joy to tell Jesus the things they had accomplished in His name.

We will do likewise. We will rejoice over those who receive Christ and come into the Kingdom of God.

Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

The seed sprouting in the fields

Atrophy

A friend used this word “atrophy” in an email to me this week. It immediately got my attention as it’s such an unusual word. It reminded me of this post from early 2020 so I wanted to share it again today.

Atrophy means the partial or complete wasting away of part of a physical body.   

A sense of shrinking and weakness in body mass and muscle tone.   An entire limb can become atrophied and withered and incapable of movement.    

There are several things which can cause Atrophy in a body but these ones caught my attention:

  1. Disuse/Lack of Exercise -When muscles are not used or you are immobile for long periods of time then Atrophy can set in.    We are called into active service in Christ Jesus and to pick up our cross and follow Him.   We are called to give and serve others, to exercise the giftings which God gives us through the Holy Spirit.   To serve others and be a blessing to them.   To show God’s love in action.   There are plenty of opportunities to serve within the body of Christ and the communities we live in.   If we are not using and exercising the talents & gifts which God has given us then they will wither.   We are called to be a voice crying in the wilderness “Prepare the way of the Lord”.   We are called to be light in the darkness.  God is rallying his church and the trumpet is sounding – wake up and start to work for the Lord because the day is short.   The good news is that this sort of Atrophy can be cured by exercise unless it is too severe.   It is never too late to start working for the Lord – He will always make a way.  Trust in the Lord and do good.
  2. Poor Nourishment – if we do not feed our physical bodies properly then they will suffer.  Muscles will lose mass and our bodies will start to shut down if no nourishment is given.   Similarly, the body of Christ will suffer if it is not feeding on the Word of God and in fellowship with Christ – the bread of life.    The challenge is -What are we feeding on?  If we feed on worldly rubbish or false teachings and doctrines then we will suffer.    We need a diet of God’s word and His truths.
  3. Mutations -these are things that should not be part of the body and they cause damage – they attack it from within.  In a spiritual sense I believe that Atrophy in the body of Christ is caused by sinful, immoral & selfish behaviour – there is no fruit of the Spirit.   It is like a disease which spreads from within.  The bible teaches us how a root of bitterness is such a thing – it causes much damage to others.   Jealousy, gossip, unforgiveness and such things should not be within the body of Christ.   Wolves in sheep’s clothing do not belong in the body of Christ and will certainly cause damage.  The bible warns us against them and their works.  Jesus says we will know them by their fruits.
  4. Poor Circulation – If we do not have the living Christ, the life & power of the Holy Spirit and God’s love flowing through us then we will have poor circulation.  If we are not in unity with one another then there will be a blockage in God’s love and blessings being manifested throughout the body of Christ.   Those parts of the body which are not flowing in the Spirit of God will not prosper – their growth will be stunted.   We need to connect into God’s amazing power and for the life giving blood of Jesus to pump through us.

I pray that we, the body of Christ, will not suffer Atrophy but will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  

That we will put off lethargy and sin which can so easily ensnare us and will rise in service of the King of Kings & Lord of Lords. 

That we will put our hands to the plough and not look back and we will run the race of faith with patience and endurance.   

Let us not be weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart – Galatians 6:9.  

Let us rise up like the Eagle and run and not faint.

Let us leap for Joy in service of our King.

Blessings in Jesus. Amen 🙏

sunset beach people sunrise
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Plumb line

If you search for the definition of a biblical plumb-line then the reference to the book of Amos will often come up.

“Thus He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said: “Behold, I am setting a plumb line In the midst of My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore.” Amos 7:7-8

Amos pleaded with God to relent his judgment and, in their place, God places a plumb line.

A plumb line is a weight suspended from a string used as a vertical reference line to ensure a structure is centered and straight.

It’s the same with our Christian faith. Jesus who is the truth must be the cornerstone of our faith so that we build on our faith correctly. It’s the Jesus revealed in the bible (not a Jesus of our own imagining), the gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached (not a false gospel) and His commandments which we live out.

Deception means we are no longer centred in God’s truth. As followers of Jesus Christ we are to guard against deception. Jesus himself warned us against being deceived particularly in the time before He returns.

It can be easy to get carried away as “charismatic” believers particularly when we belong to a Spirit filled church and it is so important that the Spirit and the Word are in harmony with the right emphasis on both.

The Word of God is our plumb line and any teaching, tongue and interpretation, prophecy or revelation that does not line up with the word of God is false. It may not all be false but test, weigh and discard the false.

The apostle Paul teaches us that the enemy has strategies against us and one is deception. He loves to lead us astray and cause confusion. Any moves of the Spirit need to be discerned to make sure it is the Holy Spirit and not the wrong spirit at work. It is vital to be rooted in God’s Word and filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.

It’s a really good exercise to ask yourself and write down what you believe about Jesus and what the gospel is. If you had to explain to someone who didn’t know Jesus or had never heard the gospel. What you believe and wrote- Does it pass the plumb line test of God’s word. If it does then we are building on a correct foundation and we are centred but if not we have to dismantle the wrong beliefs and re build. We have to re-centre ourselves in truth.

The belt of truth and our sword is such an essential part of our armour for defence and discernment of truth. Every piece of armour would not fit together or be effective without the belt or sword but we can rush or just neglect that part of our preparation. It takes discipline to read and study the bible, to pray but I encourage you to do it daily and to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in truth.

The Lord showed me a picture once of a plumb line and the effect of deception. At the start it only takes a tiny bit of deception to lead you away from the truth but the more you follow that wrong idea or false teaching the further and further you eventually end up away from the truth.

If you draw a straight vertical line on a piece of paper you will see what I mean. Draw the plumb-line and then draw another line from the bottom at a slight initial angle away from the line and see how far the line deviates away from the plumb line as you draw.

The thing with deception is how subtle it is. Be on your guard against it. Deception is so close to the truth that we can readily accept it as the truth because it sounds right but when you hold it up to the Word of God you will see the error. Satan knows the Word of God too. He quoted it to Jesus when he tempted him but Jesus knew that satan had twisted it’s true purpose and used the word of God in response correctly.

Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to help us. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who will lead and guide us into all truth. That is why the Word and being filled with the Spirit are so essential to the believer and our walk of faith.

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is discernment and I encourage you to pray and ask and seek this gift. When you operate in the gift of discernment you get that sense in your spirit that something is just not right. People refer to gut feelings and it can be like that. I have heard false tongues and just knew in my spirit that it was false and not the Holy Spirit. You hear an interpretation and again it just doesn’t sit right. That is the Holy Spirit helping you to discern the truth. When you talk to other believers they will often have discerned the same.

Have a blessed day.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

Mockery

Morning all. A slightly different post today but something the Lord has been laying on my heart recently and bringing wisdom about which might speak to and help you too.

The dictionary describes a mocker as someone who jeers or mocks or treats something or someone with contempt. It is unkind and can be cruel.

Have you encountered mockery and in particular the spirit of mockery in church life. This spirit will often attack you through others especially if you are stepping out into new ministry or new things of God. It will try and hinder you and belittle you through mockery. It doesn’t want you discovering your true identity in Christ and your gifting. It certainly doesn’t want you to step up into ministry and leadership. It will attack your sense of worth and identity. It wants to keep you in your place. It will seek to humiliate you.

As if that wasn’t bad enough it often brings strife along with it to cause more trouble as it stirs up disunity and dissension amongst believers especially when it comes to proposals for change and new things.

The Lord gave me these bible verses:

Proverbs 22:10 says “Drive out the mocker and out goes strife. Quarrels and insults are ended

We need to deal with that mocking spirit when we discern it is operating within our fellowships in Jesus’ name. Bind it and drive the spirit out together with strife from our midsts in the authority of Jesus’ name. It’s not the person or persons you need to get into a confrontation with. Deal with the spirit. Once the spirit is dealt with and it’s influence broken then pray the Lord through the conviction of the Holy Spirit will bring people to repentance and restore and heal.

We will encounter mockery from the world because of our faith. That we can bear through Christ but there is to be no place in the body of Christ for mockery or strife. We are not to devour each other in that way.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Expect the Unexpected

That is what my friend said to me on Wednesday evening just gone. She was praying for me and that is what she heard the Lord say “Expect the Unexpected”.

I have been pondering over these words since. The Lord is telling me to expect the unexpected.

I don’t think those words are just for me or that I am the only one that the Holy Spirit is speaking those words over. Perhaps the Lord is saying them to you too. Expect the Unexpected.

If I expect something that means I anticipate and believe without doubt that it will happen. I expect to receive my wages at the end of each month. I’ve worked for them so I have a genuine, well founded expectation that it will happen.

The unexpected though that’s another matter. These are surprise events, surprise happenings, new experiences. Things I don’t anticipate, understand or have experience of but I am to expect them to happen.

I don’t think I have an attitude yet of expecting the unexpected.

Lord help me to expect the unexpected. Let my faith arise to expect the unexpected.

I wonder if that was what Jesus taught the disciples. To expect the unexpected. Jesus’ followers certainly had a lot of unexpected encounters and saw a lot of unexpected things during their time with the Lord.

The 120 believers were expectant when they gathered in the upper room to receive the Holy Spirit as the Lord promised. I don’t think though they expected the Holy Spirit to come as a mighty wind of God, for tongues of fire on their heads and the gift of tongues to be given so that they would speak in other languages.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4

The unexpected may also be frightening and painful. The violent storm that arose on the lake, the contrary wind- that was unexpected to the disciples. Not to Jesus. He was asleep in the boat. He rose, rebuked the storm and restored peace. The attacks of the enemy may come unexpectedly to us but not to the Lord. He has us covered. No weapon formed against us will prosper. The Lord has equipped us and given us authority to rebuke demonic spirits and the works of the enemy.

The betrayal of Judas. That was painful, unexpected to the disciples but not to Jesus. He had warned them ahead that one would betray him from their number. Did they believe it. Did they expect it to lead to Jesus’ death on a Cross. Did they expect the glorious resurrection that followed.

Expect the unexpected.

The unexpected in progress

The Giants

The bible talks of the giants. The Israelites had to fight the giants and dispossess them so they could inherit the promised land. They had to conquer their fears, take hold of boldness and go in to the land where the giants lived to inherit their promise

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants. Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. (Is it not in Rabbah of the people of Ammon?) Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit”. Deut 3:11

Judging by the size of his iron bed, Og was definitely a giant of a man. A cubit in ancient times was measured from the elbow to the tip of your longest finger and so about 17.5 inches which means his bed was over 13 ft long and nearly 6 foot wide.

There can be “giants” in all our lives, things that hinder us, mock us and stop us progressing that need to be brought down just like David brought down Goliath. Some of these “giants” may have started out small but have grown and grown until they now seem overwhelming and so intimidating but they can be defeated. Their domination over us can be broken through faith in Jesus.

This is an encouraging word which I received from the Lord during a prayer vigil which spoke to me of some giants. This is what the Lord said to me.

I have brought My people to such a time and such a place as this. In the Spirit you are in a very wide place – can you see? As far as the eye can see is the territory that I am giving to you My children, it is yours. It is your glorious inheritance in Me. You will stretch far and wide – even beyond the horizon will your influence be felt. Your territory will be magnificent.

All that has stood in your way – the strongholds of the enemy will be demolished, pulled down and rooted out by My anointed ones. You will face your giants and you will overthrow them. The giants in your land are being overthrown. Giants of false religion, giants of wickedness, giants of rebellion, giants of depravity and filth, giants who take captives and feed on My people.

Enough is enough. My remnant, My faithful ones, My anointed ones – they will rise up with wings as Eagles and they will drive out the enemy from this territory.

I am bringing a fresh anointing of My Holy Spirit upon you. The wind of My Spirit is going to blow and propel you into places you have never been before in the physical and in the spiritual realm.

This is the day of the Lord. Rejoice and be glad for your King has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

My blessed and beloved ones. My angels are encamped all around you. I have sent them to help you and to carry out My commands. They will war with you and they are for you in the battle to evict the enemy from your territory.

All honour and glory and power belongs to the Lamb who sits upon the throne forever and ever. Amen and Amen. Let all who know the King say Amen.

Later that night as we were praying I saw a vision of an angel. He had a scroll tied with red ribbon in his right hand and in his left hand he had a trumpet. He was blowing the trumpet to awaken the people of God. I believe that this angel was sent to carryout God’s commands which were written in the scroll and which were in response to the prayers of the Saints. As the angel blew the trumpet, I saw the land of the nation being ploughed up and down its breadth and its length. I believe it was God’s Word and the prayers of the Saints which were breaking up the soil.

These verses which Peter spoke when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost from the Prophet Joel were brought to my remembrance. I pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us.

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
Acts 2:16-18

Praying in the Spirit

Morning all, today’s prayer post is about praying in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit.

It is biblical to pray in the Spirit and we are encouraged as believers to pray in the Spirit.

 Ephesians 6:18 says “praying always with all prayers and supplications in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”

Jude 7:20 “But you beloved building yourselves up on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit”

What is praying “in the Spirit”?

We pray in the Spirit when:

We allow our prayers to be inspired and directed by the Holy Spirit within us i.e. we are willing to submit our agenda to God and let the Holy Spirit lead us. This is not stepping aside and abdicating responsibility in our prayer lives but being willing to be obedient to how the Holy Spirit wants to lead us and direct our prayers.

It is working together with the Holy Spirit – our spirit and the Holy Spirit in communion in our prayers to God the Father.

We use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in prayer; i.e. speaking or singing in tongues, interpretation of tongues, words of wisdom, knowledge, discernment etc. these giftings of the Holy Spirit help us to pray effectively.

BUT as the Apostle Paul taught us, when we pray in tongues, we should always seek to pray with our understanding too so that we can interpret what the Holy Spirit is directing within us. i.e. we have revelation of the will of God as we pray.

1 Corinthians 14:13 “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind“.

Speaking in Tongues

Tongues is a spiritual language which is not learned but is inspired by the Holy Spirit within us – it can be a heavenly language or an earthly language previously unknown to the speaker.

Acts 2:4  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them“.

Paul spoke often of the gift of tongues and its proper use. The gift is to be exercised in an orderly way as the Spirit leads. The Holy Spirit does not operate in confusion or in a disorderly way. It is not right or proper if a believer abuses the gift of tongues and causes upset nor is it right or beneficial for believers to set themselves against or forbid this precious gift.

1Corinthians  14:39 “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way“.

Speaking in Tongues will help you by refreshing you spiritually, inspiring your prayers, worship & praise of God.

1 Corinthians 14:4 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself

Acts 2:11 “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

Interpretation of Tongues – When you pray in tongues ask the Holy Spirit to give you the interpretation of what you are praying so you understand what it is you are asking the Lord for or God is revealing about a situation. I don’t receive a literal word for word interpretation but a sense of what the Holy Spirit is saying and directing within me when I pray.

When a public tongue is given it is my experience in exercising the gift of interpretation, that the Holy Spirit gives me the first couple of words or a picture first and overall impression of the interpretation – I then have to step out in faith and allow the Holy Spirit to express through me the interpretation for those present. I can only describe it when I have exercised the gift of interpretation as an “unction” inside which wells up and has to be released.

Why should we pray in the Spirit

The Holy Spirit directs our prayers and reveals the will of God. If we don’t know how to pray about a situation then the Holy Spirit shows us. Some situations seem overwhelming to us but this is where we can have confidence that the Holy Spirit will show us how and what to pray.

Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 “ Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the Saints according to the will of God”

SO:

According to this Bible verse-When we pray the Holy Spirit prays with us and makes our prayers effective because our prayers are then according to the will of God. This is why in prayer we should learn to wait on God and be patient to allow the Holy Spirit to direct our prayers. We should not presume immediately that we know how to pray about a specific situation.

Psalm 62:5 “My soul wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him”.

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual wisdom and revelation.

1CO 2:10. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. v 14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned

i.e. the Holy Spirit brings revelation to our spirit man/woman within us. We humans are flesh, soul and spirit. Spirit communes with spirit. The Holy Spirit within us reveals things to our spirit man/woman as we pray. Praying in the Spirit.

You may have heard people ask God in prayer to give them “keys” to situations so that breakthrough will come. God reveals the things which are hidden particularly, in the spiritual realm, so that we can then pray directly into the situation using the “keys” which the Holy Spirit reveals through the gifts of knowledge, discernment or wisdom.

How does the Holy Spirit bring revelation to us?

The Holy Spirit can bring revelation to us in dreams, pictures, visions, impressions on your spirit,  scripture verses which are brought to mind, the still small voice of God speaking to us which we hear in our spirit, tongues & interpretations, prophetic words. We have mentioned already the gifts of words of knowledge, wisdom and discernment.

So there are many ways in which the Holy Spirit speaks and many examples are given in scripture of the Holy Spirit working in dreams, visions, prophetic words.

The Holy Spirit also gives power to us and our prayers – particularly in spiritual matters/warfare and when we fast and pray.

Jesus said:  “But you will receive power (dunamis) when the Holy Spirit comes on you” Acts 1:88

We should seek to be continually filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus received the Holy Spirit when he was baptized by John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit came upon Him like a dove.  The Holy Spirit then led Jesus into the wilderness where He fasted and prayed for 40 days then scripture says that Jesus:   “returned in the power of the Spirit and his fame went out abroad” Luke 14:4

We receive and are sealed with the Holy Spirit when we become Christians but I believe we are to seek and receive the full baptism of the Holy Spirit as the early believers did in Acts.

Starting to pray in the Spirit

Acknowledge, welcome and receive the Holy Spirit. 

Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and pour out His Holy Spirit upon you.

The Holy Spirit can be received “by the laying on of hands” Acts 8:17 “and when Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” Acts 19:6.

There are also examples in scripture of the Holy Spirit falling upon people as they waited and sought God.  e.g.  the early church waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the upper room and later in Acts 11:15. Peter witnessed to the following “And as I began to speak the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning”.

Actively seek and pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit and for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be released through you for the benefit of others.

 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy“.

It is important to seek the spiritual gifts for the right reasons. They are given to build up the church.  

God is more interested in you developing your character (follow the way of love) first and foremost and becoming more like Jesus than your spiritual gifts. Don’t fall in the trap of thinking one person is more spiritual because they exercise giftings. We are vessels only of the Holy Spirit. It is the fruit of the Spirit which is key and which shows our maturity in Christ Jesus.

 Test everything:

People often ask how they know it is the Holy Spirit bringing revelation and working in themIf the word or revelation testifies of and brings glory to Christ then it is of God. It must line up with Scripture.

1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God

1Co 14:29 “Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.”

1Th 5:19 “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.”

In my experience praying in the Spirit will always:

 GLORIFY THE FATHER THROUGH THE SON (John 14:13)

BE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL (John 5 14:15)

BE BASED UPON GOD’S CHARACTER, WAYS & WORD (John 15:7)

Dear friends, don’t let fear or previous experiences hold you back. Please don’t quench the Spirit but allow the Holy Spirit to fill you and lead you as you pray. 

 

 

 

Blow Wind, Blow

Call to the Wind;

Wind of the Holy Spirit please come and blow on us;

Blow away the Chaff;

Blow away the rubbish;

Blow away the false foundations;

Blow away all false teachings;

Blow away all deceptions;

Blow away every unfruitful work;

Blow away every false prophecy;

Blow away every false tongue;

Blow away every false interpretation;

May they not take root;

Blow heaven – Blow;

Let the trumpet sound;

Let the glory of the Lord come down;

Let the fire fall from heaven;

Let the Wind fan the flames;

Let all rubbish and dross be burnt up;

Out of the ashes will come forth life;

Out of devastation will come forth fruit;

Out of darkness will come forth light;

Be prepared.

Who can stand in the presence of the Almighty. Those of a contrite spirit and pure heart who have not lifted up their soul to an idol, those whose faith is set on a firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

They will not be moved. Though the seas will roar and the storms will come – they will not be moved.

Root yourself in Jesus Christ;

Root yourself in Love;

Root yourself in Him who cannot be moved.

Lord today we pray and contend for our brothers and sisters to be able to stand in the day of trouble. Help us to be a help and support to those who are caused to stumble and to help those who fall to rise again. We stand with them. We support them with our prayers. Strengthen them today Lord by your power and might. Amen.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them Acts 2 1-4

Praying People 2

Morning friends, today I am continuing on from yesterday’s post Praying People:

WORSHIP

Our prayerful confession of God’s name is part of our WORSHIP of God which literally means – giving worth to HIS NAME .

Our response to the name of the Lord is to worship Him (Psalm 66:2) and to give thanks, praise and bless Him (Psalm 100:4) and to lift up our hands to Him. (Psalm 63:4)

Worship changes the atmosphere when you speak out and give voice to the praises of God and Jesus.

Praise and worship should naturally be part of prayer times as it is the pathway of praise & worship which leads us into God’s presence.  

If you find it difficult or awkward at first to praise and worship on your own or even in a small group then perhaps start off by reading a Psalm of praise, put on worship music, watch or listen to a YouTube music video or read aloud the lyrics of a worship song.  

You’re not expected to be a musical superstar – make a joyful sound to the Lord – it doesn’t have to be note perfect. It’s worship of the heart that is music to God’s ears.

You will soon find and start to initiate your own Worship of God and become freer to express yourself in Worship.

Psalm 103 encourages us to “Bless the Lord O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name” and in Psalm 99 “Let them praise Your great and awesome name – He is holy

REPENTANCE

As we worship God and read His Word then we can be led into times of repentance.

When praying it is important to ask God to reveal by His Holy Spirit areas of our lives where we have sinned and are not right with Him. Taking time in prayer to allow God to search our hearts.

Psalm  51 v 10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me”.  

Repent of anything the Lord reveals and receive and thank God for his forgiveness and cleansing by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.   Remember this is conviction not condemnation. We should repent of sin (including sins of omission, bad attitudes etc) then receive forgiveness through Christ and move forward.

We want our prayers to be effective and the bible teaches us that it is the “ fervent prayers of a righteous man which are effective” James 5:16

Solomon’s Prayer

I encourage you to read Solomon’s prayer to God in 2 Chronicles Ch 6 v 12-42.

Right at the start of his prayer, Solomon demonstrated a humble attitude before God by kneeling down before all the people and lifting his hands up towards heaven.     Kneeling before God in prayer and lifting up our hands to heaven demonstrates submission to God as mentioned in yesterday’s post.    

Solomon did this before “all the people”. He was the king but he wasn’t too proud or embarrassed in front of the people to adopt this humble posture before God.

Solomon starts by confessing who God is verse 14 “LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with your servants who walk before you with all their hearts”.

Then Solomon asks God to hear and answer the prayers which the people will make in the temple.

Solomon points to the responsibility of the people to seek God for mercy and the importance of repentance and confession of God’s name (v24 & 26) as part of this.

An incredible answer came to Solomon’s prayer:

When Solomon had finished praying fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices and the glory of the Lord filled the temple” Ch 7 v1

Oh to experience the glory of the Lord manifest amongst us.

Do you desire God’s fire and glory to fall and for revival to come. If we desire the fire of God to fall on us and ignite us then we must acknowledge that revival has to start in each one of us.

Am I, are we, willing though to sacrifice time in prayer and seeking God to see revival in myself/us, my/our family, my/our church, my/our community, my/our nation, the nations.

If the answer is yes, particularly in these troublesome times, then let us seek God, asking God to increase our hunger and desire for Him, actively seeking His Will to be done, for an urgency to development in us and that the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon us in power and fire.

John the Baptist said of Jesus “He shall baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Let’s not forget that promise. Jesus baptises with fire.

Let’s pray:

I pray today that you will know God and the Lord Jesus Christ in a new and deeper understanding. That you will have a deeper revelation of who Jesus is and the power which is His.

I pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened.   That your spiritual eyes will be opened.   That you will have a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ from this day forward.

I pray that fire from heaven will fall upon you and the power of the Holy Spirit. That you will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and will go out and do great works by the power of His holy name, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Let the fire fall and let your heart be aflame with love and revelation of Jesus and the power that is in Him. Never tire of doing His good works and walk in His footsteps forever and ever. Amen”

Praying People

Over the last few weeks, I have been considering how meditating on and confessing the names of God, discovering the character of God (which is revealed through His names) can help us in our times of prayer.   

Other things which can also help our prayer life to develop are:

ATTITUDE; – The word “confess” comes from the Hebrew word “Yadah” meaning “an open or extended hand

In prayer we are reaching out to take hold of God and Him alone and declaring that we are putting our trust in Him.  

We are acting humbly by putting God in His rightful position and focusing on Him.

A humble attitude is I believe a KEY to God hearing and answering our prayers:

If my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land ”  2 Chronicles 7 v14

A humble attitude in our hearts can also be demonstrated physically in prayer by kneeling, lying on our faces before God, raising our hands etc.

Jesus’ model prayer that he taught his disciples demonstrated his humility.

FOR YOURS (God) IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER AMEN”.

Let us not forget (particularly when prayers are answered or when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation) that the glory always belongs to God and Jesus.

THE WORD OF GOD;- If we are going to give voice to our faith and understanding of GOD’S Character, His Works, His Wonders, His Glory and confess our belief in God, His promises and His Word then it is really good (for me a necessity) to have a bible or other access to the Word of God to hand whilst praying so that we can confess scripture out loud or meditate on God’s Word.

I encourage you to try and get into the habit of praying with your bible to hand or other access to the Word of God through your phone, tablets etc. The Holy Spirit will bring a scripture to your mind and that can form the basis of your prayer.

Isaiah Ch 55 v 11So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth: It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing which I sent it“.

When you proclaim the Word of God it builds you up spiritually and encourages you in your faith.

You are also proclaiming God’s Word boldly to the enemy -to spirits, principalities & powers as you resist the enemy. Wielding the Sword of the Spirit against the lies of the enemy. Demolishing arguments and strongholds.

If I am praying about a situation where I am declaring God’s victory then I will often read aloud the song of Moses from Exodus 15 verses 1-18 about the time God rescued the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians.

When I want to declare Christ’s sovereign position and authority over a situation then Revelation 19 verses 11- 16 will often come to mind.

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

It will take some effort initially to look up relevant portions of scripture when you are praying but the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians Ch 6 ) and the weapon of our warfare, so we need to know how to use THE WORD of God effectively in prayer.  

I wouldn’t advise just picking out bible verses without any thought to throw at situations but by prayerful meditation on the Word of God allow the Holy Spirit to direct you to relevant passages of scripture.   The Word of God is living and powerful.

When you meditate on the Word of God in your prayer times it allows the Lord the opportunity to speak to you through HIS WORD and you will hear His still small voice in your spirit.

Have a blessed day my friends.